PhD student position in Innovative compact heat storage technologies and management schemes at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

You are invited to apply for a PhD student position in the project ‘iTES – Innovative compact heat storage technologies and management schemes for buildings connected to smart grids’.

iTES stands for an emerging class of innovative compact thermal storage systems that are based on the physical principles and properties of phase change materials (PCM) or thermochemical materials (TCM). With these materials, heat can be stored in a denser form and with smaller losses than conventional heat storage such as hot water storage tanks.

This project will explore how iTES can be applied as demand-side management (DSM) for better utilization of a fast-increasing number of distributed electricity and heat generation units in Swedish buildings, such as photovoltaics and heat pumps. The focus is on technical and operational prerequisites for achieving financial and/or environmental benefits for building owners. Most important is to expand possibilities for avoiding curtailing energy surpluses from renewables over various time scales (through smart grids), decided by weather conditions and reflected in volatile energy prices, without jeopardizing the thermal comfort in buildings.

The specific objectives of the project are: to provide a method for linking investment and operation costs of iTES with the energy performance of an individual building, by considering dynamic conditions for energy supply in the grid; to assess the influence of the DSM measure (iTES) on an entire building stock (e.g. a city area or a whole city), also allowing to compare the iTES with other DSM measures under different future electricity price variations, and climate conditions; to identify technical and operational prerequisites for implementing iTES in smart thermal and electricity grids of the future.

The novelty in this project will be a data-driven approach for the optimization of iTES, which will combine multi-physics models with artificial genetic algorithms and neural networks. The goal is to build short-term forecast models for optimal charging and discharging of iTES that can operate under real conditions, i.e. to be fast, reliable, and adapted to the available data infrastructure (weather, heat demand in the building, heat and electricity production in the heating and electricity grids including RES, energy losses in the system and hourly energy prices). Since the objectives are to provide validated tools for optimal management of iTES, real situations will be analyzed based on two case studies: a multi-family apartment building and an office building.

Technical and operational prerequisites of implementing iTES in DSM will be regularly discussed with potential stakeholeds. The results from the project will be published in high-ranked scientific journals and technical magazines.

The PhD position is located at the Division of Building Technology at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. The department is a merger of the former Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and represents a broad field of knowledge theory ranging from engineering and social sciences to the humanities and design-based, artistic research. These different perspectives provides a strong interdisciplinary environment with opportunities for broader discussion of various aspects of sustainability.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results both verbally and in writing. In addition to the research project, you will also take courses on the advanced level within the graduate school of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The position may also include departmental duties, such as teachi ng, corresponding to maximum 20 %. You will be employed by Chalmers.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment.  The employment is limited to four years’ effective time on the PhD project, plus additional time spent on teaching and other departmental duties up to a maximum of five years. The employment is tied to successful progress of the doctoral studies, as evaluated throughout the project.

A suitable background is a Master of Science degree (with at least 240 higher education credits) in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Physics. Experience of building energy modelling, district heating system modelling, thermal energy storage modelling, and optimization is an advantage. The position requires oral and written communication skills in English. Communication skills in Swedish are also meritorious. If Swedish is not your native language, a goal is that you should be able to communicate, and teach tutorials, in Swedish after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

You are expected to take initiatives, work independently when needed and take responsibility for your work. Furthermore, the project interacts closely with adjacent disciplines and industrial partners. Thus you need to have high collaborative skills. Finally, you need to be able to disseminate results and knowledge within existing and new networks. This includes academia, industry and society at large.Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to youChalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20180738 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
• 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 6 February, 2019

For questions, please contact:
Professor Angela Sasic Kalagasidis, +46 31 772 19 98

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!



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